Armed with Sidekick 97, those using the PalmPilot PDA can better leverage E-mail and the Internet for scheduling meetings. Although not inexpensive, the latest version of Starfish Software Inc.'s PIM offers a good solution for Internet-based group scheduling.
Both the $49.95 Sidekick 97 personal information manager and a $49.95 Web Publisher add-on worked well in PC Week Labs tests. In addition, Starfish is offering another add-on, a $39.95 Starfish-to-Pilot data conduit called TrueSync. It's a nice package, but the price for all the components, and for the conduit to U.S. Robotics Corp.'s Pilot personal digital assistant in particular, seems steep.
Scheduling a meeting using Sidekick is straightforward. Once you schedule a meeting, Sidekick sends an E-mail request to the participants. Sidekick and Schedule+ users receive a meeting request in their normal application format, while others receive a text-based message.
Using the Web Publisher add-on, the more daring can publish schedules to the Web in HTML format. The output isn't dazzling, but it is easy to navigate with daily, weekly, monthly and yearly views.
On any given schedule, viewers have an E-mail link, so they can send a meeting request without taking their eyes off the schedule. While the solution provides a great level of convenience by cutting out the negotiation phase of a meeting, the need to continually post an updated schedule could become a hassle for a busy person.
Starfish Software, of Scotts Valley, Calif., can be reached at (888) 782-7347 or www.starfishsoftware.com.
(For a review of U.S. Robotics' latest release of the Pilot, called the PalmPilot Professional, see "PalmPilot goes professional.")